There are many great literary events around Indianapolis and beyond.  Looking for something to do?  Here are just a few ideas:

The next SUBMIT-A-THON is coming up on Thursday, September 20, 3:30-6:30.

Artist Indrustry Nights

Tuesday, September 18, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Indy Fringe Theatre

719 E. St. Clair, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Free, but go here to register.

The Arts Council of Indianapolis is proud to offer another program to help build and strengthen our professional artist community. Artist Industry Nights brings together artists of all disciplines and experience levels to network, socialize, collaborate, and connect.

Thanks to a generous donor to our Artist Services program, the Artist Industry Nights events are free and open to all professional and aspiring artists in central Indiana. Literary, performing, and visual artists are all encouraged to attend and help us "cross-pollinate" the Indy artist community. You may just meet your next collaborative partner or your mentor!

For each event, the Arts Council partners with a different organization and/or venue to bring together the most diverse and interesting group of artists for drinks, nibbles, and conversation. This is not a meeting so don't worry about coming in late and please, come as you are. All artists are welcome.

Free parking - for details click here:

Indiana University English Departmemt

Lisa Ko Reading

Tuesday, September 18, 7:30-8:30 PM

State Room East - Indiana Memorial Union
900 E 7th Street, facing the Jordan Ave.

Lisa Ko is the author of The Leavers, which was a 2017 National Book Award for Fiction finalist, won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2017 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. Her writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, O. Magazine, and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the MacDowell Colony, among others. Born in Queens and raised in Jersey, she lives in Brooklyn.

For more about Lisa, click here.

Tuesday, September 18 at 7 PM – 11 PM
The White Rabbit Cabaret

1116 Prospect St., Indianapolis, Indiana 46203

Speakeasy is back in September with a very special show, featuring an all-black lineup of storytellers and collecting donations for Indy10 Black Lives Matter and DONT SLEEP.
Tickets: $5 (please bring cash)

Brick Street South Poetry Series
Wednesday, September 19, 7 p.m.
Tube Factory artspace

1125 Cruft St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46203

One popular image of a poet is that of a solitary, suffering writer who rarely shows her verse, preferring instead to stuff them in a desk drawer, hidden from the world. Truth is, many poets are souls who select their own society, finding solace, support, and shared experiences.

Come meet some of the members of the First Mondays group, from historic New Harmony. Those visiting poets include Jessica Thompson, Linda Neal Reising, and Tom Raithel, who will exchange poems and conversation with their Indy counterparts. An open mic is part of the free evening's program.

Kelly Writers Series/DePauw University

 Alexander Chee (fiction and nonfiction) is the author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel.

 Picture of Alexander Chee
Wednesday, September 19, at 7:30 PM in
Peeler Art Center Auditorium

Alexander Chee is the best-selling author of the novels The Queen of the Night and Edinburgh. He is a contributing editor at the New Republic, an editor at large at Virginia Quarterly Review, and a critic at large at the Los Angeles Times. His work has appeared in The Best American Essays 2016, the New York Times Magazine, Slate, Guernica, and Tin House, among others. He is associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.

Poetry Open Mic at the Irving Theater
Thursday, September 20 (and every Thursday)  7:00p to 9:00p
5505 E Washington St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219
This event is free.


A completely nonjudgmental and safe space to share poetry held every Thursday during the Summer on the deckbehind the the Irving Theater and in the theater during the Winter. Come enjoy original poetry and readings from local and regional artists.

Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library

Indianapolis Celebrates Freedom to Read with Banned Books Week “Prisoner” and Week of Programming.
Join us as we transform the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library into a cozy salon where community members can gather to ask big questions about art, citizenship and humanity. This year, Banned Books Week is September 24-September 29, and we are thrilled to welcome a host of guests to discuss censorship, book banning, and many other topics. Please RSVP for the celebrations here!

Indy Reads Books
911 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

George Wilkerson reading (You Don't Know) The Half of It
Saturday, September 22, 11:30am – 12:30pm
"(You Don't Know) The Half of It" is the story of two people, one public (George) and one private (Bobbi), the latter in hiding until George was nearly 45 years old. The story of their lives is told by Bobbi who, though in the shadows for much of the time, was still a major influence. She takes us through George's childhood in Brooklyn, his college years, his time as Academic Dean of Austin Community College, then as Technical Writer for Shell Oil in Nigeria, Dell Computers, and Radian International (an environmental engineering company), and ater as a writer and performer with the “Esther’s Follies” comedy troupe, and as a stand-up comic. Only able to 'escape' on a limited basis, Bobbi observes as along the way George struggles with accepting her—his "other self."

University of Notre Dame/Creative Writing Series

Presenting Farid Matuk
Monday, September 24, 7:30PM - 9:00PM

Eck Visitor Center
An evening of poetry and conversation with poet Farid Matuk, Associate Professor, Department of English, The University of Arizona.
Matuk, whose linguistic inventiveness continually presses against the confining syntaxes of racist, sexist, and colonialist dehumanization, was born in Peru to Peruvian and Syrian parents, immigrated to the US at 6 and was undocumented until the age of 13. Matuk will read from his latest collection, The Real Horse, sign books and take questions from the audience.  For more information on Farid Matuk, you can visit his website at

The Poets Laureate of Lawrence

Tuesday, September 25 from 7-9 pm
The Theater at the Fort on Indy's east side
Sterrett Center

8920 Otis Avenue, Lawrence, 46226
(Take 56th Street to Post Road. Go North on Post and West on Otis.)
Join us for our monthly featured author/open mike series that happens every 4th Tuesday of the month. This month our featured author is Sarah Layden.
Sarah Layden
is the author of the novel Trip Through Your Wires (Engine Books), and her short stories appear in Boston Review, Booth, PANK, Artful Dodge, and elsewhere. Her essays can be found in Salon, Ladies' Home Journal, and The Humanist, among others. The Story I Tell Myself About Myself, flash fiction, won the Sonder Press 2017 Chapbook Competition. She teaches creative writing at IUPUI and the Indiana Writers Center.

Tuesday, September 25 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM
Irvington Vinyl & Books

9 Johnson Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219
Go here to register for the event.

Join us For Colored Girls Book Club for our September meeting! We will be discussing Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.  The story of two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle's dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast's booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia's descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.  Donations are welcome!

Poets Attack! With Adrian Matejka, Noah Baldino, & Manon Voice

Wednesday, September 26 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM
Irvington Vinyl & Books
9 Johnson Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana 46219

Get in, get culture, get out. This is the motto of Poets Attack. The last Wednesday of each month, for 90 minutes or less, Irvington Vinyl & Books hosts two talented local poets and pairs them with visiting writers from out of state. The goal is to connect Hoosier poets with writers from across the United States, and to build relationships between our local scene and the world outside. We believe poetry is meant for everybody; that’s why we keep our readings short and our admission free. Poetry For All.

Noah Baldino's poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, Black Warrior Review, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. They are a poetry editor for the Sycamore Review. They were a finalist for the 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Poetry Prize.

Adrian Matejka is the author of four books, including Map to the Stars and the Big Smoke, which earned him a nomination for the National Book award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Indianapolis's own hometown hero, his long list of prizes includes a Pushcart, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and many many more. He is the poet laureate of Indiana.

Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series/Butler University

Lynda BarryLynda Barry 
Thursday, September 27, 7:30 PM
Atherton Union, Reilly Room

Lynda Barry is the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. In 1979, while pursuing a career as a painter, she began drawing a weekly comic strip that incorporated stories considered to be incompatible with comics at the time: stories, as Barry puts it, “that had a lot of trouble in them.” Widely credited with expanding the literary, thematic, and emotional range of American comics, Barry’s ground-breaking weekly strip, Ernie Pook's Comeek, ran for 30 years. Her graphic novel, What It Is, won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work, and in 2016 she was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame. 

Barry has authored seventeen books, worked as a commentator for NPR, and had a regular monthly feature in Esquire, Mother Jones Magazine, and Mademoiselle, and on She created an album-length spoken word collection of stories called, The Lynda Barry Experience, and was a frequent guest on the Late Show with David Letterman.

She also adapted her novel The Good Times Are Killing Me into a long-running off-Broadway play. In 2008, her book One! Hundred! Demons! was required reading for all incoming freshmen at Stanford University. Her novel Cruddy has been translated into French, Italian, German, Catalan, and Hebrew. She is currently at work on an illustrated novel called Mr. Birdis and a documentary in comic book form about industrial scale wind farms in Wisconsin.


Marilyn K. Cory Speaker Series/Ball State University

Presents Hanif Abdurraqib
Thursday, September 27  7-9 PM
Teacher's College, Room 121

Hanif Thumb
Poet, essayist, and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib will speak and read from his work. His books include "They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us" and "The Crown Ain't Worth Much," and his work addresses a range of topics, including the n-word, racial profiling, and contemporary music and sports. The event will be held in TC 121.

Michael Martone & Jessica Reed Reading and Book SigningMartone and Reed banner Small

Thursday, October 11 at 6 PM - 8 PM
Indiana Writers Center

Join visiting writer Michael Martone and poet Jessica Reed for an evening of prose and poetry. Both writers will present a reading of their work, followed by a book signing.

Michael Martone, native of Fort Wayne, has been writing fiction and nonfiction about indiana and the Midwest for 40 years. His newest books are BROODING and THE MOON OVER WAPAKONETA: FICTIONS AND SCIENCE FICTIONS FROM INDIANA AND BEYOND. He has taught creative writing at Iowa State, Harvard, and Syracuse universities and currently teaches at the University of Alabama.

Jessica Reed’s chapbook, World, Composed (Finishing Line Press), is a dialogue with the ancient poet Lucretius about atoms. Her work has appeared in Crazyhorse; Conjunctions; The Indianapolis Review; North American Review; Bellingham Review; New American Writing; Colorado Review; Waxwing; 111O; Tinderbox Poetry Journal; Spiral Orb; The Fourth River; and elsewhere. She has a MFA in Poetry and a BS in Physics, both from Purdue University. She taught creative writing at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona and Ivy Tech Community College, and for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, where she designed special writing courses, such as “Writing Workshop: Where Art Meets Science”. She has taught science-themed poetry at an all-female STEM summer program in Dammam, Saudi Arabia and in Beijing, China for the Center for Excellence in Education. She teaches a year-long seminar at Butler University called “Physics and the Arts.” She lives in Danville, Indiana.


Indiana Humanities Poetry Tour with Tracy K. Smith

Indiana Humanities, in partnership with Brick Street Poetry and the Indianapolis Public Library, are excited to welcome U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith to Indiana for a poetry tour from Nov. 27 to Nov. 29. The events will be held in Greencastle, Hanover, Indianapolis, and Shelbyville and will be free and open to the public. However, advance tickets are required and seating is limited. Reserve yours today. More information at:…

Written by Roxanna Santoro — September 04, 2018

© Indiana Writers Center 2012